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Profile: Christian List (London School of Economics)
  1.  70
    Christian List (2011). Group Agency: The Possibility, Design, and Status of Corporate Agents. Oxford University Press.
    Are companies, churches, and states genuine agents? Or are they just collections of individuals that give a misleading impression of unity? This question is important, since the answer dictates how we should explain the behaviour of these entities and whether we should treat them as responsible and accountable on the model of individual agents. Group Agency offers a new approach to that question and is relevant, therefore, to a range of fields from philosophy to law, politics, and the social sciences. (...)
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  2. Christian List & Philip Pettit (2002). Aggregating Sets of Judgments: An Impossibility Result. Economics and Philosophy 18 (1):89-110.
    Suppose that the members of a group each hold a rational set of judgments on some interconnected questions, and imagine that the group itself has to form a collective, rational set of judgments on those questions. How should it go about dealing with this task? We argue that the question raised is subject to a difficulty that has recently been noticed in discussion of the doctrinal paradox in jurisprudence. And we show that there is a general impossibility theorem that that (...)
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  3. Christian List & Peter Menzies (2009). Nonreductive Physicalism and the Limits of the Exclusion Principle. Journal of Philosophy 106 (9):475-502.
    It is often argued that higher-level special-science properties cannot be causally efficacious since the lower-level physical properties on which they supervene are doing all the causal work. This claim is usually derived from an exclusion principle stating that if a higher-level property F supervenes on a physical property F* that is causally sufficient for a property G, then F cannot cause G. We employ an account of causation as difference-making to show that the truth or falsity of this principle is (...)
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  4. Christian List & Philip Pettit (2013). Group Agency: The Possibilty, Design and Status of Corporate Agents. Oxford University Press Uk.
    Are companies, churches, and states genuine agents? Or are they just collections of individual agents that give a misleading impression of unity? Group Agency offers a new approach to that question and is relevant, therefore, in a range of fields from philosophy to law, politics, and the social sciences. Christian List and Philip Pettit take the line that there really are group or corporate agents, over and above the individual agents who compose them, and that a proper social science and (...)
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  5. Christian List, What’s Wrong with the Consequence Argument: In Defence of Compatibilist Libertarianism.
    The most prominent argument for the incompatibility of free will and determinism is Peter van Inwagen’s consequence argument. In this paper, I offer a new diagnosis of what is wrong with this argument. Both proponents and critics of the argument typically accept the way it is framed and only disagree on whether the argument’s premises and the rules of inference on which it relies are true. I suggest that the argument involves a category mistake: it conflates two different levels of (...)
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  6.  86
    Christian List (2006). The Discursive Dilemma and Public Reason. Ethics 116 (2):362-402.
    Political theorists have offered many accounts of collective decision-making under pluralism. I discuss a key dimension on which such accounts differ: the importance assigned not only to the choices made but also to the reasons underlying those choices. On that dimension, different accounts lie in between two extremes. The ‘minimal liberal account’ holds that collective decisions should be made only on practical actions or policies and that underlying reasons should be kept private. The ‘comprehensive deliberative account’ stresses the importance of (...)
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  7.  96
    Franz Dietrich & Christian List (2007). Arrow's Theorem in Judgment Aggregation. Social Choice and Welfare 29 (1):19-33.
    In response to recent work on the aggregation of individual judgments on logically connected propositions into collective judgments, it is often asked whether judgment aggregation is a special case of Arrowian preference aggregation. We argue for the converse claim. After proving two impossibility theorems on judgment aggregation (using "systematicity" and "independence" conditions, respectively), we construct an embedding of preference aggregation into judgment aggregation and prove Arrow’s theorem (stated for strict preferences) as a corollary of our second result. Although we thereby (...)
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  8.  18
    Christian List & Daniel Stoljar (forthcoming). Does the Exclusion Argument Put Any Pressure on Dualism? Australasian Journal of Philosophy:1-13.
    ABSTRACTThe exclusion argument is widely thought to put considerable pressure on dualism, if not to refute it outright. We argue to the contrary that, whether or not their position is ultimately true, dualists have a plausible response. The response focuses on the notion of ‘distinctness’ that is employed to distinguish between mental and physical properties: if ‘distinctness’ is understood in one way, the exclusion principle on which the argument rests can be denied by the dualist; if it is understood in (...)
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  9.  15
    Christian List, Levels: Descriptive, Explanatory, and Ontological.
    Scientists and philosophers frequently speak about levels of description, levels of explanation, and ontological levels. This paper presents a framework for studying levels. I give a general definition of a system of levels and discuss several applications, some of which refer to descriptive or explanatory levels while others refer to ontological levels. I illustrate the usefulness of this framework by bringing it to bear on some familiar philosophical questions. Is there a hierarchy of levels, with a fundamental level at the (...)
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  10. Franz Dietrich & Christian List (2013). A Reason-Based Theory of Rational Choice. Noûs 47 (1):104-134.
    There is a surprising disconnect between formal rational choice theory and philosophical work on reasons. The one is silent on the role of reasons in rational choices, the other rarely engages with the formal models of decision problems used by social scientists. To bridge this gap, we propose a new, reason-based theory of rational choice. At its core is an account of preference formation, according to which an agent’s preferences are determined by his or her motivating reasons, together with a (...)
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  11.  14
    Christian List & Daniel Stoljar, Does the Exclusion Argument Put Any Pressure on Dualism?
    The exclusion argument is widely thought to put considerable pressure on dualism, if not to refute it outright. We argue to the contrary that, whether or not their position is ultimately true, dualists have a plausible response. The response focuses on the notion of ‘distinctness’ that is employed to distinguish between mental and physical properties: if ‘distinctness’ is understood in one way, the exclusion principle on which the argument rests can be denied by the dualist; if it is understood in (...)
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  12.  84
    Franz Dietrich, Christian List & Richard Bradley, Belief Revision Generalized: A Joint Characterization of Bayes's and Jeffrey's Rules.
    We present a general framework for representing belief-revision rules and use it to characterize Bayes's rule as a classical example and Jeffrey's rule as a non-classical one. In Jeffrey's rule, the input to a belief revision is not simply the information that some event has occurred, as in Bayes's rule, but a new assignment of probabilities to some events. Despite their differences, Bayes's and Jeffrey's rules can be characterized in terms of the same axioms: "responsiveness", which requires that revised beliefs (...)
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  13. Christian List (2012). The Theory of Judgment Aggregation: An Introductory Review. Synthese 187 (1):179-207.
    This paper provides an introductory review of the theory of judgment aggregation. It introduces the paradoxes of majority voting that originally motivated the field, explains several key results on the impossibility of propositionwise judgment aggregation, presents a pedagogical proof of one of those results, discusses escape routes from the impossibility and relates judgment aggregation to some other salient aggregation problems, such as preference aggregation, abstract aggregation and probability aggregation. The present illustrative rather than exhaustive review is intended to give readers (...)
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  14.  64
    Christian List & Laura Valentini, Freedom as Independence.
    Much recent philosophical work on social freedom focuses on whether freedom should be understood as non-interference, in the liberal tradition associated with Isaiah Berlin, or as non-domination, in the republican tradition revived by Philip Pettit and Quentin Skinner. We defend a conception of freedom that lies between these two alternatives: freedom as independence. Like republican freedom, it demands the robust absence of relevant constraints on action. Unlike republican, and like liberal freedom, it is not moralized. We show that freedom as (...)
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  15.  12
    Christian List, What is It Like to Be a Group Agent?
    The existence of group agents is relatively widely accepted. Examples are corporations, courts, NGOs, and even entire states. But should we also accept that there is such a thing as group consciousness? I give an overview of some of the key issues in this debate and sketch a tentative argument for the view that group agents lack phenomenal consciousness. In developing my argument, I draw on integrated information theory, a much-discussed theory of consciousness. I conclude by pointing out an implication (...)
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  16.  60
    Christian List & Philip Pettit (2004). Aggregating Sets of Judgments: Two Impossibility Results Compared. Synthese 140 (1-2):207 - 235.
    The ``doctrinal paradox'' or ``discursive dilemma'' shows that propositionwise majority voting over the judgments held by multiple individuals on some interconnected propositions can lead to inconsistent collective judgments on these propositions. List and Pettit (2002) have proved that this paradox illustrates a more general impossibility theorem showing that there exists no aggregation procedure that generally produces consistent collective judgments and satisfies certain minimal conditions. Although the paradox and the theorem concern the aggregation of judgments rather than preferences, they invite comparison (...)
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  17. Peter Menzies & Christian List (2010). The Causal Autonomy of the Special Sciences. In Cynthia Mcdonald & Graham Mcdonald (eds.), Emergence in Mind. Oxford University Press
    The systems studied in the special sciences are often said to be causally autonomous, in the sense that their higher-level properties have causal powers that are independent of those of their more basic physical properties. This view was espoused by the British emergentists, who claimed that systems achieving a certain level of organizational complexity have distinctive causal powers that emerge from their constituent elements but do not derive from them.2 More recently, non-reductive physicalists have espoused a similar view about the (...)
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  18.  74
    Christian List & Marcus Pivato, Dynamic and Stochastic Systems as a Framework for Metaphysics and the Philosophy of Science.
    Scientists often think of the world (or some part of it) as a dynamical system, a stochastic process, or a generalization of such a system. Prominent examples of systems are (i) the system of planets orbiting the sun or any other classical mechanical system, (ii) a hydrogen atom or any other quantum-mechanical system, and (iii) the earth’s atmosphere or any other statistical mechanical system. We introduce a simple and general framework for describing such systems and show how it can be (...)
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  19.  86
    Christian List, What is It Like to Be a Group Agent?
    The existence of group agents is relatively widely accepted. Examples are corporations, courts, NGOs, and even entire states. But should we also accept that there is such a thing as group consciousness? In this paper, I give an overview of some of the key issues in this debate and sketch a tentative argument for the view that group agents lack phenomenal consciousness, contrary to a recent suggestion by Schwitzgebel (2015). In developing my argument, I draw on integrated information theory, a (...)
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  20.  62
    Christian List & Franz Dietrich (forthcoming). Reason-Based Choice and Context-Dependence: An Explanatory Framework. Economics and Philosophy.
    We introduce a “reason-based” framework for explaining and predicting individual choices. It captures the idea that a decision-maker focuses on some but not all properties of the options and chooses an option whose motivationally salient properties he/she most prefers. Reason-based explanations allow us to distinguish between two kinds of context-dependent choice: the motivationally salient properties may (i) vary across choice contexts, and (ii) include not only “intrinsic” properties of the options, but also “context-related” properties. Our framework can accommodate boundedly rational (...)
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  21. Christian List (2014). Free Will, Determinism, and the Possibility of Doing Otherwise. Noûs 48 (1):156-178.
    I argue that free will and determinism are compatible, even when we take free will to require the ability to do otherwise and even when we interpret that ability modally, as the possibility of doing otherwise, and not just conditionally or dispositionally. My argument draws on a distinction between physical and agential possibility. Although in a deterministic world only one future sequence of events is physically possible for each state of the world, the more coarsely defined state of an agent (...)
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  22. Christian List & Robert E. Goodin (2001). Epistemic Democracy: Generalizing the Condorcet Jury Theorem. Journal of Political Philosophy 9 (3):277–306.
    This paper generalises the classical Condorcet jury theorem from majority voting over two options to plurality voting over multiple options. The paper further discusses the debate between epistemic and procedural democracy and situates its formal results in that debate. The paper finally compares a number of different social choice procedures for many-option choices in terms of their epistemic merits. An appendix explores the implications of some of the present mathematical results for the question of how probable majority cycles (as in (...)
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  23.  77
    Christian List (2005). Group Knowledge and Group Rationality: A Judgment Aggregation Perspective. Episteme 2 (1):25-38.
    The Ostrogorski paradox and the discursive dilemma are seemingly unrelated paradoxes of aggregation. The former is discussed in traditional social choice theory, while the latter is at the core of the new literature on judgment aggregation. Both paradoxes arise when, in a group, each individual consistently makes a judgment, or expresses a preference, (in the form of yes or no) over specific propositions, and the collective outcome is in some respect inconsistent. While the result is logically inconsistent in the case (...)
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  24.  88
    Christian List & John Dryzek (2003). Social Choice Theory and Deliberative Democracy: A Reconciliation. British Journal of Political Science 33 (1):1-28.
    The two most influential traditions of contemporary theorizing about democracy, social choice theory and deliberative democracy, are generally thought to be at loggerheads, in that the former demonstrates the impossibility, instability or meaninglessness of the rational collective outcomes sought by the latter. We argue that the two traditions can be reconciled. After expounding the central Arrow and Gibbard-Satterthwaite impossibility results, we reassess their implications, identifying the conditions under which meaningful democratic decision making is possible. We argue that deliberation can promote (...)
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  25. Franz Dietrich & Christian List (2010). The Aggregation of Propositional Attitudes: Towards a General Theory. Oxford Studies in Epistemology 3.
    How can the propositional attitudes of several individuals be aggregated into overall collective propositional attitudes? Although there are large bodies of work on the aggregation of various special kinds of propositional attitudes, such as preferences, judgments, probabilities and utilities, the aggregation of propositional attitudes is seldom studied in full generality. In this paper, we seek to contribute to filling this gap in the literature. We sketch the ingredients of a general theory of propositional attitude aggregation and prove two new theorems. (...)
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  26. Christian List & Philip Pettit (2006). Group Agency and Supervenience. Southern Journal of Philosophy 44 (S1):85-105.
    Can groups be rational agents over and above their individual members? We argue that group agents are distinguished by their capacity to mimic the way in which individual agents act and that this capacity must 'supervene' on the group members' contributions. But what is the nature of this supervenience relation? Focusing on group judgments, we argue that, for a group to be rational, its judgment on a particular proposition cannot generally be a function of the members' individual judgments on that (...)
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  27.  54
    Christian List & Kai Spiekermann (2013). Methodological Individualism and Holism in Political Science: A Reconciliation. American Political Science Review 107 (4):629-643.
    Political science is divided between methodological individualists, who seek to explain political phenomena by reference to individuals and their interactions, and holists (or nonreductionists), who consider some higher-level social entities or properties such as states, institutions, or cultures ontologically or causally significant. We propose a reconciliation between these two perspectives, building on related work in philosophy. After laying out a taxonomy of different variants of each view, we observe that (i) although political phenomena result from underlying individual attitudes and behavior, (...)
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  28.  42
    Christian List & Philip Pettit (2004). Aggregating Sets of Judgments: Two Impossibility Results Compared. Synthese 140 (1/2):207 - 235.
    The "doctrinal paradox" or "discursive dilemma" shows that propositionwise majority voting over the judgments held by multiple individuals on some interconnected propositions can lead to inconsistent collective judgments on these propositions. List and Pettit (2002) have proved that this paradox illustrates a more general impossibility theorem showing that there exists no aggregation procedure that generally produces consistent collective judgments and satisfies certain minimal conditions. Although the paradox and the theorem concern the aggregation of judgments rather than preferences, they invite comparison (...)
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  29. Richard Bradley & Christian List (2009). Desire-as-Belief Revisited. Analysis 69 (1):31-37.
    On Hume’s account of motivation, beliefs and desires are very different kinds of propositional attitudes. Beliefs are cognitive attitudes, desires emotive ones. An agent’s belief in a proposition captures the weight he or she assigns to this proposition in his or her cognitive representation of the world. An agent’s desire for a proposition captures the degree to which he or she prefers its truth, motivating him or her to act accordingly. Although beliefs and desires are sometimes entangled, they play very (...)
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  30.  98
    Christian List (2011). Group Communication and the Transformation of Judgments: An Impossibility Result. Journal of Political Philosophy 19 (1):1-27.
    While a large social-choice-theoretic literature discusses the aggregation of individual judgments into collective ones, there is much less formal work on the transformation of judgments in group communication. I develop a model of judgment transformation and prove a baseline impossibility theorem: Any judgment transformation function satisfying some initially plausible conditions is the identity function, under which no opinion change occurs. I identify escape routes from this impossibility and argue that the kind of group communication envisaged by deliberative democats must be (...)
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  31.  39
    Christian List (2004). A Model of Path-Dependence in Decisions Over Multiple Propositions. American Political Science Review 98 (3):495-513.
    I model sequential decisions over multiple interconnected propositions and investigate path-dependence in such decisions. The propositions and their interconnections are represented in propositional logic. A sequential decision process is path-dependent if its outcome depends on the order in which the propositions are considered. Assuming that earlier decisions constrain later ones, I prove three main results: First, certain rationality violations by the decision-making agent—individual or group—are necessary and sufficient for path-dependence. Second, under some conditions, path-dependence is unavoidable in decisions made by (...)
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  32.  28
    Franz Dietrich & Christian List (2007). Judgment Aggregation by Quota Rules: Majority Voting Generalized. Journal of Theoretical Politics 19 (4):391-424.
    The widely discussed `discursive dilemma' shows that majority voting in a group of individuals on logically connected propositions may produce irrational collective judgments. We generalize majority voting by considering quota rules, which accept each proposition if and only if the number of individuals accepting it exceeds a given threshold, where different thresholds may be used for different propositions. After characterizing quota rules, we prove necessary and sufficient conditions on the required thresholds for various collective rationality requirements. We also consider sequential (...)
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  33. Christian List & Clemens Puppe (2009). Judgment Aggregation: A Survey. In Christian List & Clemens Puppe (eds.), Handbook of Rational and Social Choice. Oxford University Press
    Our aim in this survey article is to provide an accessible overview of some key results and questions in the theory of judgment aggregation. We omit proofs and technical details, focusing instead on concepts and underlying ideas.
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  34.  36
    Christian List (2005). The Probability of Inconsistencies in Complex Collective Decisions. Social Choice and Welfare 24 (1):3-32.
    Many groups make decisions over multiple interconnected propositions. The “doctrinal paradox” or “discursive dilemma” shows that propositionwise majority voting can generate inconsistent collective sets of judgments, even when individual sets of judgments are all consistent. I develop a simple model for determining the probability of the paradox, given various assumptions about the probability distribution of individual sets of judgments, including impartial culture and impartial anonymous culture assumptions. I prove several convergence results, identifying when the probability of the paradox converges to (...)
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  35.  26
    Christian List, Social Choice Theory. Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.
    Social choice theory is the study of collective decision processes and procedures. It is not a single theory, but a cluster of models and results concerning the aggregation of individual inputs (e.g., votes, preferences, judgments, welfare) into collective outputs (e.g., collective decisions, preferences, judgments, welfare). Central questions are: How can a group of individuals choose a winning outcome (e.g., policy, electoral candidate) from a given set of options? What are the properties of different voting systems? When is a voting system (...)
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  36.  53
    Christian List & Philip Pettit (2005). On the Many as One: A Reply to Kornhauser and Sager. Philosophy and Public Affairs 33 (4):377–390.
    In a recent paper on ‘The Many as One’, Lewis A. Kornhauser and Lawrence G. Sager look at an issue that we take to be of great importance in political theory. How far should groups in public life try to speak with one voice, and act with one mind? How far should public groups try to display what Ronald Dworkin calls integrity? We do not expect the many on the market to be integrated in this sense. But should we expect (...)
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  37.  60
    Christian List, Robert C. Luskin, James S. Fishkin & Iain McLean (2013). Deliberation, Single-Peakedness, and the Possibility of Meaningful Democracy: Evidence From Deliberative Polls. Journal of Politics 75 (1):80–95.
    Majority cycling and related social choice paradoxes are often thought to threaten the meaningfulness of democracy. But deliberation can prevent majority cycles – not by inducing unanimity, which is unrealistic, but by bringing preferences closer to single-peakedness. We present the first empirical test of this hypothesis, using data from Deliberative Polls. Comparing preferences before and after deliberation, we find increases in proximity to single-peakedness. The increases are greater for lower versus higher salience issues and for individuals who seem to have (...)
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  38.  18
    Christian List (2003). A Possibility Theorem on Aggregation Over Multiple Interconnected Propositions. Mathematical Social Sciences 45 (1):1-13.
    Drawing on the so-called “doctrinal paradox”, List and Pettit (2002) have shown that, given an unrestricted domain condition, there exists no procedure for aggregating individual sets of judgments over multiple interconnected propositions into corresponding collective ones, where the procedure satisfies some minimal conditions similar to the conditions of Arrow’s theorem. I prove that we can avoid the paradox and the associated impossibility result by introducing an appropriate domain restriction: a structure condition, called unidimensional alignment, is shown to open up a (...)
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  39.  91
    Christian List (2006). Republican Freedom and the Rule of Law. Politics, Philosophy and Economics 5 (2):201-220.
    At the core of republican thought, on Philip Pettit’s account, lies the conception of freedom as non-domination, as opposed to freedom as noninterference in the liberal sense. I revisit the distinction between liberal and republican freedom and argue that republican freedom incorporates a particular rule-of-law requirement, whereas liberal freedom does not. Liberals may also endorse such a requirement, but not as part of their conception of freedom itself. I offer a formal analysis of this rule-of-law requirement and compare liberal and (...)
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  40. Christian List (2014). When to Defer to Supermajority Testimony — and When Not. In Jennifer Lackey (ed.), Essays in Collective Epistemology. Oxford University Press
    Pettit (2006) argues that deferring to majority testimony is not generally rational: it may lead to inconsistent beliefs. He suggests that “another ... approach will do better”: deferring to supermajority testimony. But this approach may also lead to inconsistencies. In this paper, I describe conditions under which deference to supermajority testimony ensures consistency, and conditions under which it does not. I also introduce the concept of “consistency of degree k”, which is weaker than full consistency by ruling out only “blatant” (...)
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  41.  45
    Christian List & Ben Polak (2010). Introduction to Judgment Aggregation. Journal of Economic Theory 145 (2):441-466.
    This introduces the symposium on judgment aggregation. The theory of judgment aggregation asks how several individuals' judgments on some logically connected propositions can be aggregated into consistent collective judgments. The aim of this introduction is to show how ideas from the familiar theory of preference aggregation can be extended to this more general case. We first translate a proof of Arrow's impossibility theorem into the new setting, so as to motivate some of the central concepts and conditions leading to analogous (...)
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  42.  75
    Christian List (2003). Are Interpersonal Comparisons of Utility Indeterminate? Erkenntnis 58 (2):229 - 260.
    On the orthodox view in economics, interpersonal comparisons of utilityare not empirically meaningful, and ``hence'' impossible. To reassess this view, this paper draws onthe parallels between the problem of interpersonal comparisons of utility and the problem of translation of linguisticmeaning, as explored by Quine. I discuss several cases of what the empirical evidence for interpersonal comparisonsof utility might be and show that, even on the strongest of these, interpersonal comparisons are empiricallyunderdetermined and, if we also deny any appropriate truth of (...)
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  43.  28
    Christian List & Franz Dietrich (2007). Judgment Aggregation by Quota Rules: Majority Voting Generalized. Journal of Theoretical Politics 19 (4):391-424.
    The widely discussed "discursive dilemma" shows that majority voting in a group of individuals on logically connected propositions may produce irrational collective judgments. We generalize majority voting by considering quota rules, which accept each proposition if and only if the number of individuals accepting it exceeds a given threshold, where different thresholds may be used for different propositions. After characterizing quota rules, we prove necessary and sufficient conditions on the required thresholds for various collective rationality requirements. We also consider sequential (...)
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  44. Christian List & Laura Valentini (forthcoming). The Methodology of Political Theory. In Oxford Handbook of Philosophical Methodology. Oxford University Press
    Political theory, sometimes also called “normative political theory”, is a subfield of the disciplines of philosophy and political science that addresses conceptual, normative, and evaluative questions concerning politics and society, broadly construed. Examples are: When is a society just? What does it mean for its members to be free? When is one distribution of goods socially preferable to another? What makes a political authority legitimate? How should we trade off different values, such as liberty, prosperity, and security, against one another? (...)
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  45.  87
    Christian List & Marcus Pivato (2015). Emergent Chance. Philosophical Review 124 (1):119-152.
    We offer a new argument for the claim that there can be non-degenerate objective chance (“true randomness”) in a deterministic world. Using a formal model of the relationship between different levels of description of a system, we show how objective chance at a higher level can coexist with its absence at a lower level. Unlike previous arguments for the level-specificity of chance, our argument shows, in a precise sense, that higher-level chance does not collapse into epistemic probability, despite higher-level properties (...)
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  46.  54
    Christian List (2004). On the Significance of the Absolute Margin. British Journal for the Philosophy of Science 55 (3):521-544.
    Consider the hypothesis H that a defendant is guilty , and the evidence E that a majority of h out of n independent jurors have voted for H and a minority of k:=n-h against H. How likely is the majority verdict to be correct? By a formula of Condorcet, the probability that H is true given E depends only on each juror’s competence and on the absolute margin between the majority and the minority h-k, but neither on the number n, (...)
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  47.  77
    Franz Dietrich & Christian List, Probabilistic Opinion Pooling Generalised -- Part Two: The Premise-Based Approach.
    How can different individuals' probability functions on a given sigma-algebra of events be aggregated into a collective probability function? Classic approaches to this problem often require 'event-wise independence': the collective probability for each event should depend only on the individuals' probabilities for that event. In practice, however, some events may be 'basic' and others 'derivative', so that it makes sense first to aggregate the probabilities for the former and then to let these constrain the probabilities for the latter. We formalize (...)
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  48.  48
    Robert E. Goodin & Christian List (2006). A Conditional Defense of Plurality Rule: Generalizing May's Theorem in a Restricted Informational Environment. American Journal of Political Science 50 (4):940-949.
    May's theorem famously shows that, in social decisions between two options, simple majority rule uniquely satisfies four appealing conditions. Although this result is often cited in support of majority rule, it has never been extended beyond decisions based on pairwise comparisons of options. We generalize May's theorem to many-option decisions where voters each cast one vote. Surprisingly, plurality rule uniquely satisfies May's conditions. This suggests a conditional defense of plurality rule: If a society's balloting procedure collects only a single vote (...)
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  49.  41
    Franz Dietrich & Christian List (2004). A Model of Jury Decisions Where All Jurors Have the Same Evidence. Synthese 142 (2):175 - 202.
    Under the independence and competence assumptions of Condorcet’s classical jury model, the probability of a correct majority decision converges to certainty as the jury size increases, a seemingly unrealistic result. Using Bayesian networks, we argue that the model’s independence assumption requires that the state of the world (guilty or not guilty) is the latest common cause of all jurors’ votes. But often – arguably in all courtroom cases and in many expert panels – the latest such common cause is a (...)
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  50.  88
    Franz Dietrich & Christian List (2013). Where Do Preferences Come From? International Journal of Game Theory 42 (3):613-637.
    Rational choice theory analyzes how an agent can rationally act, given his or her preferences, but says little about where those preferences come from. Preferences are usually assumed to be fixed and exogenously given. Building on related work on reasons and rational choice, we describe a framework for conceptualizing preference formation and preference change. In our model, an agent's preferences are based on certain "motivationally salient" properties of the alternatives over which the preferences are held. Preferences may change as new (...)
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